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UC Clermont Student Receives Geology Fellowship

Thomas Farron received the Motl Fellowship, which will help him continue his studies at UC's McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.

Date: 5/14/2018
By: Amanda Chalifoux
Phone: (513) 558-8199
Photos By: Danny Kidd
UC Clermont sophomore geology student Thomas Farron received the Wayne A. Pryor-Mary Lou Motl Fellowship to continue his studies on UC’s Uptown Campus this fall. From left: Mary Lou Motl; Thomas Farron; Many Hunt, UC Clermont geology professor; and Mona S
UC Clermont sophomore geology student Thomas Farron received the Wayne A. Pryor-Mary Lou Motl Fellowship to continue his studies on UC’s Uptown Campus this fall. From left: Mary Lou Motl; Thomas Farron; Many Hunt, UC Clermont geology professor; and Mona S

Thomas Farron, a UC Clermont College sophomore geology student, has been awarded the Wayne A. Pryor-Mary Lou Motl Fellowship.

Mary Lou Motl presented the 33rd Motl Fellowship to Farron on April 19 in a ceremony at UC Clermont. Farron has taken preparatory courses for UC’s geology major at UC Clermont and will transfer to the Uptown Campus for the fall semester to continue his studies in the field. His lifelong dream is to become a planetary geologist studying Mars as a NASA geoscientist.

The fellowship honors geologist Wayne A. Pryor, who served as professor of geology at the University of Cincinnati from 1965 until his death in 1997. He was passionate about teaching stratigraphy-sedimentology and dedicated to his students. Before his death from prostate cancer, Pryor and his wife resolved to honor this passion by establishing the permanent Wayne A. Pryor-Mary Lou Motl Fellowship Fund as a legacy for easing financial burdens of struggling undergraduate geology students. The fund supports junior and senior undergraduate geology students at UC based upon their need, potential, drive and work ethic so that they are able to spend less time on outside jobs and can devote more time to their studies.

“My husband learned through his years of teaching that many students were working their way through school, and that limited their ability to participate in school activities,” Mary Lou Motl said.

Farron works two jobs — one at UC Clermont and another at Ikea. Despite his busy schedule, he also published an undergraduate research paper earlier this year, and was one of seven UC Clermont geology students who presented papers at the Ohio Academy of Science on April 14. Although Farron is the first UC Clermont student to receive the Motl Fellowship as a sophomore, several former UC Clermont students have been honored with the award as juniors or seniors after transferring to the Uptown Campus.